Life before Swoop
Originally from Brittany, I studied in England and Germany before setting off to Japan where I worked as an assistant language teacher. I loved being fully immersed in the local culture so much that my one year stint turned into five! Joining the largest traditional dance festival of Awa Odori, cleaning-up local beaches and pounding rice with a hammer to make mochi were some of many highlights.
Eventually the summer heat got to me so I decided to move to northern Norway. My love for the polar regions started as I learned more about the local heroes: Polar explorers Nansen and Amundsen.
Preferring the midnight sun to the polar night, I looked south and was privileged to join the Antarctic Heritage Trust as a member of the Port Lockroy Team. I then followed the migration of the Arctic Tern from north to south and back for four years of polar summers!
My Polar Experience
I spent a total of 360 days in Antarctic waters, two-thirds of which were on a tiny island (smaller than a football pitch!) surrounded by 2000 Gentoo Penguins! Daily life at Port Lockroy included building snow steps, scrubbing guano, counting penguins and selling stamps. The base facilities were limited so I had the opportunity to visit all polar ships and test their breakfast and showers facilities!
I then joined polar ships as an Expedition Leader, planning itineraries to ensure guests had the best possible experience as well as managing an onboard team of 13 polar experts. I explored the West coast of Antarctica thoroughly and crossed the Antarctic Circle, but my favourite spots are in the less visited Weddell Sea and Antarctic Sound. All trips are unique so you never know what is waiting for you around the corner. Last March I had the most amazing encounter with a pod of humpback whales who were communicating at the surface.
All in all, I spent three months exploring the coast of Svalbard and surrounding pack ice. There is nothing like ‘parking’ the ship in the ice and watching polar bears getting curious and coming to check us out! But Svalbard is also a great place to observe Arctic foxes, dwarf reindeer as well as blue whales and belugas. My favourite time to visit is late June as the snow starts melting and purple saxifrage bloom all over!
With 23 trips under my belt, I am sure I will be able to help your trip of a lifetime!
Day to day at Swoop
As part of the Polar Specialist team, I will be helping you find the perfect trip to make your dream come true. I now live in another beautiful corner of the world: El Chaltén, at the bottom of the Andes.
Why I love Polar Travel
I love the wide open spaces barely modified by man, the challenges of making a landing accessible, the raw beauty of bare mountains and icy landscapes, misty days as well as bright blue skies!
As much as I love the light, I also cherish the shorter days of autumn when stars lit up and the auroras start dancing in the sky! No matter how many times you have seen them nor how cold it is outside, they will leave you mesmerised! Expect the unexpected as every trip is different and will bring surprises: curious penguins, hunting leopard seals, large tabular icebergs, to name a few!
I am also very fond of maps- they are of course useful tools for planning but also a reflection of past exploration trips and struggles. I enjoy studying the toponymy of both polar regions for that reason.
I look forward to sharing my knowledge and passion with you so you can discover those less known corners of the world.